The ‘India Dekho’ Tour – Part 3

We were back from a gruelling 2 days after having traveled the length and breadth of India almost and playing a gig was not the first thing on our minds. So all of us promptly shut it out of our minds for a bit and we headed home for some rest and freshening up.

It was only after lunch that the first batch of us decided to head off to Tumkur and start the set up there. And it was quite a set up. This was one hell of a HUGE stage, a 100 feet in width and 60 feet in depth, this was almost a site for an apartment to be constructed! Shiv, who was seeing all these things for the first time, had never seen a stage this big and was quite shocked!

Raghu Dixit - Tumkur - How do you estimate the size of a crowd? - Photo by Shiv Ahuja

So how do you estimate the size of a crowd? How many people is 10,000? and how many is 20,000? can you tell when you look at a crowd? I use a simple technique, of actually counting up to 10 people, seeing how much of a chunk that is, then doubling that to see how much of the crowd 20 people is, and so on to a 100. Then you double that, and go to 1000 and then you start to get a fair estimate.

That day, I’d say the crowd was anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000!

The Raghu Dixit Project in Tumkur - Bliss - Photo by Shiv Ahuja

The heartening thing was this – we were scheduled to end the show, and we did, but if you know shows in Bangalore and the rest of India for that matter, live music shuts down at 10PM. So we expected to go on at about 8PM and were ready at the venue by then. But things stretched on and one thing led to another and one performance lead to another speech and a dance and a mimicry set and by the time we went on stage there it was about 11PM that night.

The Raghu Dixit Project in Tumkur - Gaurav Headbanging - Photo by Shiv AhujaThat was when I counted! Over 25,000 people had stayed back to watch our show and there were not going to budge till we were done! and we were not going to disappoint them!

We started with ‘Neenae Beku’, an out and out rock song that Raghu composed for one of his movies here in Karnataka and from the word go, we had Tumkur on its feet. They danced with us, jumped with us and even sang with us! We ran through most of the regular set, inserting some more of Raghu’s Kannada movie songs as the set went along and the crowd was lapping it up!

We ended way after midnight with Mr. Somashekhar, the DC, joining us on stage to do a small song and dance routine along with us on ‘Ninna Poojege Bande Mahadeshwara’ and if Raghu’s guitar string hadn’t cut mid way through that song, we might have gone on and on!

We ended the show and just barely avoided being mobbed as we went to the DC’s house for an excellent ‘plantain leaf’ dinner before we headed back to Bangalore.

What a way that was to end one of the most grueling series of gigs we’ve played in India.

Photos again by the fantastic Shiv Ahuja and if you notice this time, I insisted that he shoots and gives me atleast some pictures in colour!The Raghu Dixit Project in Tumkur - Raghu in the Light - Photo by Shiv Ahuja

The Raghu Dixit Project in Tumkur - Energy! - Photo by Shiv Ahuja

The Raghu Dixit Project in Tumkur - Felicitation - Photo by Shiv Ahuja

The Raghu Dixit Project in Tumkur - Thank you! - Photo by Shiv Ahuja

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